Deviated Septum Surgery Tips Photos
Day 16 - Nose Splint Removed!

I didn't sleep well - even though I went to bed about 2 or 3 am I didn't really fall asleep until 6am. I slept until 2pm. So depending on how you look at it I got 8-12 hours of sleep. At least I'm trying to rest. I was still sleepy at 2pm but I had to get up and check on email before my 4pm appointment to remove the nose splints.

My normal protein shake and vitamins and fiber pills for the morning meal. I caught up on some important email - I still have a huge backlog caused by all this situation - and then I took a quick shower. Normally when I'm done showering I turn my head upside down to put my towel on my long hair. I'd been avoiding doing that ever since the nasal surgery. I gently gave it a try today. I felt a bit lightheaded but got through it. I figure I need to start slowly doing things like this to get my system back into normal working order. Bob took a pair of photos before we headed out. Somehow he made me look more goofy than usual :) You can see that the bruise under my eye is pretty much gone now.

Deviated septum photo

Deviated septum photo

OK so we're off. We get to the doctor's office to remove the nasal splints. I check in and we wait a bit. I am telling myself to relax, that all the web reports I read said this was really easy. The nasal splints just slide out. The doctor calls me in and Bob tells her about the issue I had opening my mouth too wide a few days ago, and getting sharp pains as a result. She has me lay down and asks how I'm doing and I say I'm nervous about this. She says "oh it's not too bad - it's like when we removed the packing." WHAT???? That was torture!! That felt like my nose was being turned inside out! Now I am near panic :) Bob comes around and holds my foot. I know it sounds silly, but I did feel better, feeling him there holding me. I had to go through this, and all I could do now is try to breathe slowly, focus on the ceiling, and get through it.

She started on my right side which was odd, last time she did the left side first and it seemed the right side was always the "worst" side. She told me she'd do two little snips to get the sutures free. That wasn't too bad, mostly pressure and tugging while she worked the small snippers into position. Then there was a long hard tug which didn't feel bad at all. "That wasn't too bad" I said in relief. "Oh that was just a plug of mucus," she responded. Great. OK so now I take in a deep breath and she gives the long pull.

Really, it wasn't bad at all. Maybe she thought the packing wasn't supposed to be bad, or maybe I was lucky here. It was a LONG piece of plastic. Here's a photo of what they are. They are HUGE compared with my nose. I don't know how they fit.

Deviated septum photo

Bob says it was in there with the curved part against my outer nostril, and it was curled into a loop with the closed part of the loop back against the inside of my head. So it was the natural "springiness" of the plastic that was having it hold open, as it wanted to return to its flat shape. I don't see any holes in it so the needle from the suture must have made a tiny hole that instantly closed up when the suture was pulled clear of it.

So now she moves to the other nostril, and again it's a snip, then a snip as the sutures are cut. This part wasn't too bad although I was still nervous about it. And then another long tug and it was free. It didn't hurt, and it didn't pressure against the nose, but you could feel it moving. So in the grand scheme of things not bad at all.

She had me stay lying down for a few minutes. She was surprised when I said I wanted the splints but put them into a baggie for me. I told her I was running this blog to help others learn about the process. After I sat up again she said this was it for visits, that I could call if I had problems but that I should be all set. She said I was set from today with general normal activities but that for the next week I should continue laying on a ramp of pillows with my head primarily pointing up. She said if I did lay on my side to try to alternate sides so that the swelling would not get too heavy on one side. She said to keep daily irrigating and bacitine to ensure the nose healed up well.

I asked her specifically about my sword class and my dance dance revolution dancing and she said I'd be fine to do both starting today. I find that hard to believe - I still get exhausted doing regular things never mind those two which are VERY strenuous. My nose is still sensitive - I can't imagine all the jumping up and down and high blood pressure from DDR for example. Bob suggested maybe we start to go to the mall for daily walks - so we can walk in the AC (it's very hot out) and try to get me back into shape that way. I agree that's a good idea.

So we came home and here are two photos of me post-splint-removal!

Deviated septum photo

Deviated septum photo

Interestingly in that second photo you can see the semi-circle scar across my forehead from the car crash that squished my nose :) That is where the roof of the car sheared off and smashed into my head on its way.

Bob is off to band practice - did I mention it's our 14th anniversary today of living together? So here we are on our 14th anniversary, I'm having nose splints removed, he's off playing with his band and I'm eating cheese and Triscuits. And a nice glass of Shiraz :) He'll bring us home something tasty tonight.

So my nose feels all sorts of odds twitches and tinges, I imagine it's settling into a more "normal" shape after weeks of being held out abnormally by those plastic splints. So nothing really painful, but a constant reminder that my nose is "in motion". I tried bending down a few times and I do still get a bit lightheaded at that. But I want to start pushing myself a *little* more to get my blood system back into shape. I know I have to take it easy, and sleep a lot but I also don't want my body to turn into a limp noodle due to inactivity.

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